For the 2018 Presidential Grant it would be not only aesthetically beautiful for the members of our college community, but incredibly sustainable for Union to plant a milkweed garden in front of Schaffer library (rather than the present lack luster shrubbery). Now you might be asking–why milkweed? What’s so cool about milkweed? Can this plant produce both milk AND weed? Well no, BUT milkweed is the sole plant monarch caterpillars are able to eat and the only plant monarch butterflies lay their eggs in. The monarch population since the mid 1990s has been invariably decreasing and this is directly due to the deforestation of the milkweed plant.
In a recent U.S. Geological survey they have found that we will need to plant an additional 1.8 billion milkweed stems in North America in hopes of restoring the monarch community to what it once was. This is an especially important mission for those who live in the United States because the monarch butterfly is our national butterfly(; although, this job should not be the sole burden of the United States and the monarch butterfly should not be the only insect we work to repopulate because of its’ national status). This planting would be relatively inexpensive (6 milkweed seed packets for only $18 on amazon with that student prime!), extremely impactful to the monarch population, and beautify our campus further. For more information on the falling monarch population in North America click on the graph below: